Wednesday, September 23, 2015

REVIEW: 'You're the Worst' - Gretchen Throws a Party to Impress Her Former Group of Friends in 'Born Dead'

FXX's You're the Worst - Episode 2.03 "Born Dead"

Gretchen makes an attempt to reconnect with her old group of friends by throwing herself a housewarming party. Jimmy does his best to affirm his belief that friends are for babies. Edgar continues his pursuit of Lindsay, and Lindsay meets her estranged husband's new girlfriend.

Jimmy, Gretchen, Edgar and Lindsay are friends. They are have gotten very close over two seasons. And yet, they are all unsure if the very concept of friendship is something they desire to have. Jimmy views it as this horrifying thing that's been invented by society in order to make people feel normal. He sees it as something for babies and the elderly. He doesn't need friends. He is happy with Gretchen as his girlfriend and Edgar as his roommate/house cleaner. He doesn't need anything more than that. Meanwhile, Gretchen believes she has a strong group of friends. And yet, she hasn't mentioned them once to Jimmy or even talked to them in three years! Gretchen wants to recapture that spark. But she quickly finds out that things aren't like they used to be.

A lot can change in three years. Gretchen is still largely the party girl who just wants to go out dancing and having a good time with drugs and alcohol. She throws a party to prove it too and invites all of her friends. The problem is that while she is the same her friends have become different people over the last few years. One is too in love with her baby to leave her with a babysitter, another is about to really have a baby and the third has been regularly going to Alcohols Anonymous meetings. And then, the fourth one is even worse than Gretchen remembered. She is a horrible human being and the only one of this group who still wants to party like they used to - but also compulsively steals things. It's a sad realization for Gretchen as she sees how drastically everyone else has grown up. She can't fathom why the one would want to have a baby. She openly talks about getting rid of it just so they can have a good time at her party. Gretchen is a different person than she was three years ago. But she is still clinging onto the past because it has a personal value to her. She wants to be a person who has friends. In the end though, she's just happy being with Jimmy and Lindsay.

Jimmy is dismayed that Gretchen wants to have this housewarming party just to prove something to people who he didn't even know were friends with her. He's disappointed that all the alcohol he just bought with Edgar isn't for him and Gretchen. He wants to control the party that goes on in his house. He's not comfortable with a bunch of strangers roaming around doing whatever they please and potentially ruining the place. He frantically goes around posting signs of what people can't do and making sure every drink is on a coster. It's that relentless struggle that all hosts go through during a party like this. Eventually, he just disappears to another room hoping to forget that a party is happening just a few feet away. However, he can't escape it for too long because Vernon and Paul soon discover where he's hiding.

Vernon fully believes that he and Jimmy are now best friends because Jimmy briefly liked one of Vernon's pictures on Instagram. Vernon is desperate to hold onto this connection because he doesn't believe any man can make new friends once they are in their twenties. He's happy that Jimmy is finally doing something to let him in - even though it was Gretchen's mistake that caused the like button to be hit (and then quickly taken back). It's still so amusing that Vernon is actually an orthopedic surgeon. That just seems incredible given what kind of person he is. And yet, he just wants to be understood by Jimmy. He shares this personal story of being born dead and having to be revived by the doctors. It's a story he probably doesn't tell a lot of people. He thinks it's special when he's delivering it to Jimmy. But Jimmy just wants to rail against the idea of friendship and the party that is happening at his house. He doesn't care about Vernon. In fact, he only follows him on Instagram ironically. So that he can openly make fun of him at any time. That's not a friendship at all but it does give Jimmy something to do and not worry about what Gretchen and her friends are doing to his house.

And lastly, Lindsay is still reeling from her separation and wants to make Paul jealous at Gretchen's party. She figures if she shows up with some attraction guy, who's the total opposite of Paul, he will get so jealous that he'll want her back. It's her latest desperate ploy to get what she wants. She doesn't care who she hurts in the process as long as she gets her way. She is even forwarding all the dick pics she gets from her new dating app in order to get some extra money. That's her entrepreneurial spirit. And yet, she's the one left alone at the party because her date was actually a 9-year-old boy just messing with her while Paul brings his new girlfriend, Amy. She's distraught at the sight of them. Edgar is able to swoop in and be her stand-in boyfriend for the night. She's more than willing to use that to her advantage in her quest to hurt Paul. But Edgar's feelings for her are real. Those feelings only make the situation more complicated.

Edgar is a gentleman. He wants to do the right thing with Lindsay. He wants to be with her but he also doesn't think it's right until she's officially divorced. But he's more than willing to do what she wants at the party because it's one step closer to getting what he really wants. As Lindsay sees how close Paul and Amy are though, she only gets more depressed. She sees a world of people around her who are nice. She doesn't think of herself as a nice person and that's why she is alone so much of the time - even though she desperately doesn't want to be. She has a grand moment of self-reflection where she's addressing the problems she has. And then, Edgar goes in for the kiss which then distracts her from achieving any kind of emotional maturity. She believes he only did it as a way to help her grand scheme. That may happen too considering Paul does look at the two of them together with concern. And yet, Edgar kissed her because he wanted her to no longer feel alone. The emotions of this relationship are complicated. That's what makes it a compelling story this season even though it's not abundantly clear whether or not Edgar and Lindsay would actually be a healthy couple.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Born Dead" was written by Stephen Falk and directed by Alex Hardcastle.
  • Paul's story about his friend Connor's wife Mimi being killed after being dragged for three miles by a semi truck was so horrifying and morbid. And yet, it's the kind of humor that works so well on this show.
  • Killian was never a character who worked well in the first season. However, it was amusing watching him bartend for Gretchen's party. Unfortunately though, that comes from his parents deciding to take some time apart and Jimmy pitying him.
  • Gretchen's insistence on calling her party a party instead of a get together was a fantastic running joke.
  • Jimmy's rules for the party: 1.) No shouting. This is a civilized house, 2.) Do not go downstairs, 3.) No gang colours, 4.) Bathroom is for #1 only, and 5.); Do not tip the bartender.
  • Lindsay: "I'm not gonna lie it's hard when you reach over in the morning and there's no one there except for the sandwich you fell asleep eating."
  • Lindsay: "He spells titties with a z." Gretchen: "You're so getting murdered." Lindsay: "I know." And then, Gretchen's reaction was amazing.
  • Lindsay: "What the farts?"
  • Paul: "Edgar FTW. That means for the win."
  • Lindsay: "No, I'm materialistic. I'm incapable of being alone. I never really learned how to shower that good. I almost always forget to flush the toilet."